Inland Empire: Key first-round softball games

May, 19, 2011
5/19/11
2:38
PM PT
SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS

Division 1

Mater Dei at Riverside Poly, Thursday, 2:30 p.m.

These teams met in a season-opening tournament in Bullhead, Ariz. and Mater Dei won, 10-1. The Bears didn’t finish off the regular season too well either, losing to Corona Santiago, 14-5, to miss out on a share of the Big VIII League title. The playoffs haven't gone well for Mater Dei lately. The Monarchs haven't advanced past the second round since 2005.

Yucaipa at Rancho Cucamonga Los Osos, Thursday, 3;15 p.m.

Los Osos proved it can play with any team in Division 1 by defeating second-seeded Etiwanda, 1-0, in a Baseline League game last week, though the Eagles had already clinched at least a share of the league title and the league’s No. 1 seed for the playoffs. Yucaipa enters the playoffs on a six-game winning streak.

Division 2

Ontario Colony at Moreno Valley Valley View, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

Colony advanced to the first round with a 7-4 wild-card victory Tuesday against visiting Norwalk. Valley View, the Inland Valley League champion, is led by freshman pitcher Ashley Birnie (8-1, 1.96 ERA).

Division 3

Manhattan Beach Mira Costa at Lake Elsinore Lakeside, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

Tough draw for Lakeside as Mira Costa tied for the Bay League championship but lost the tiebreaker with co-champ Palos Verdes Peninsula and ended up as the league’s No. 2 seed. Lakeside, the Sunbelt League champion, will count on junior pitcher Jasmine Smithson-Willett (18-6, 1.21).

Division 4

Riverside Patriot at La Quinta, Thursday, 3;15 p.m.

Patriot has no problem scoring runs, as evident by its 16-7 wild-card victory Tuesday against Redlands Arrowhead Christian. The question is, can the Warriors outscore the Blackhawks, who are averaging nearly eight runs a game this season?

Division 5

Temple City at Barstow, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

This figures to be an offensive showdown between North Dakota-bound senior Jessica Loicano of Temple City and Taylor Purdy and Miranda Peralta of Barstow, all of whom are batting .500 or better this season.

Division 6

Rosamond at Yucca Valley, Thursday, 3:15 p.m.

Yucca Valley junior pitcher Felicia Gonzales (11-6, 2.51) has won her last eight decisions.

Division 7

Trona at Riverside Bethel Christian, Thursday, 3;15 p.m.

Jordan Ward leads Bethel Christian in both hitting and pitching.

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